Traveling 101
Travel Tips, Deals, News, Discounts

Accidental Exploration of Oakland: A Beautiful Discovery

Wednesday, 19 September 2012 03:18 by Mandy
 
The beautiful bridges spanning across the world famous San Francisco Bay are one of the most recognizable manmade landmarks in the world. While San Francisco is a famously happening metropolitan area, many of the city’s guests don’t consider what a short drive across the bay can offer. We encourage you to venture over the bay bridge, on purpose or by accident, to see how dynamic the bay area truly is!
               
                The first time I visited San Francisco, I was on a Trans-American tour of the country in my father’s Honda sedan. We left Connecticut, and drove west to San Francisco. Upon arrival, we were wide-eyed with mouths agape. The sights and locations that San Francisco offers are completely overwhelming. Similarly to my experiences in New York: if you don’t know the secrets gems, you’re only experiencing 10% of the city. Fortunately, travel blogs and twitter feeds have unearthed many of the city’s buried beauties and will help you break free of Fisherman’s Wharf Syndrome.
                However, since we were on the road so much, and with the complete freedom that the Honda gave us– we found ourselves completely enamored by the bridges. Certainly, everyone needs to drive over the Golden Gate, but what happens when you’re visiting SF and find yourself on the other side of the bay bridge with a couple hours to kill? Do you turn around and do another tour of the Ghirardelli factory? Of course not, that’s why we’re here to help!
                Oakland travel websites have extensively covered how to make the most out of a trip to Oakland, but we’re going to narrow it down a little bit. This is for people, like me, wandered across the bridge and finding myself with a couple hours and a city I knew nothing about. Here are some ideas for quick entertainment and sightseeing:
 
Jack London Square (@JackLondonSq) – If you’ve never been to Oakland, Jack London Square should be your first stop. It’s the main waterfront entertainment and dining area in Oakland and is the perfect stop for a quick walkabout to stretch those cramped car legs. Not driving? Check out Heinold’s First and Last Chance Saloon for something strong!
 
The Crucible (@TheCrucible) – SF isn’t the only bay area city with culture. This nonprofit industrial arts school was founded and Berkeley and moved to Oakland. Since 2003, The Crucible has been deadest on engaging the nearby community in the arts. In addition to parks and art centers in the nearby area, you can check the events page and follow The Crucible on twitter for events and activities. Hungry? Head to Brown Sugar Kitchen for some tasty waffles. Love art galleries? Check out http://proartsgallery.org/ for a list of exhibitions!
 
East Bay Winery Bike Tours (@EBWBikeTours) – California is synonymous with great wine, and now you don’t need to drive out to the valleys to do some tasting. Park the car, hop on a bike and enjoy fun and original take on a wine tasting tour. Not sold yet? Head to http://eastbaywinerybiketours.com/ and watch the video to see if this looks like something you would enjoy!
 
Have any more tips? We would love to hear them! 

The Parks at LAX Airport

Friday, 7 September 2012 02:04 by Mandy

Attention LAX travelers, Airport Parking Connection has another recommendation for your parking needs when flying out of busy LAX. This week’s suggestion is a double header, LAX Park Place and The Park at LAX are two local LAX airport offsite parking garages that have been in business for 30 years providing travelers with exceptional customer service, covered and uncovered valet/self parking options and affordable rates for both long term and short term stays making either one an ideal choice for whatever your needs are. Both of these locations offer free shuttle and luggage assistance to and from the airport that operate 24/7 year round so you don’t need to worry about searching for parking and hauling your luggage through busy Lot C at the airport. Though these are two separate locations their processes are similar to one another and are simple enough to follow:

 

  1. ·         First, go online to AirportParkingConnection to make your parking reservation at either LAX Park Place or The Park at LAX (make sure you print out the confirmation email with your reservation details and keep it handy until after you've returned from your trip and have exited the garage).
  2. ·         Pull into the garage that you made your reservation with and check in with the lot attendant for instructions and your claim ticket (you’ll need to present the attendant with your confirmation receipt).
  3. ·          Then hop onto a shuttle over to your terminal at the airport and you’re on your way.
  4. ·         When you return from your trip make sure to keep your claim ticket handy so you can call the shuttle service number on the back to come pick you up when you exit your flight.
  5. ·         20 minutes later you’re back at the parking garage ready to go home.

 

Both locations are close to the airport and accessible from the 105 and 405 freeways. LAX Park Place is located at 11333 La Cienega Blvd. LosAngeles, CA 90045(for directions click on the address) across the street from Lot B at the airport, and the phone number you want to call when you return and need to get picked up is 1(800) 606-7275. The Park at LAX is located at 11220 Hindry Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90045 (for directions click on the address), and their phone number is1(888) 910-7275. It’s usually better to plan on arriving at either one of these location 20 minutes before you want to arrive at your terminal to allow for ample time to fill out any necessary paperwork and load luggage onto the shuttle. Also, for the best rates be sure to book as much in advance as possible with Airport Parking Connection.com. Happy and safe travels LAX parkers!   

LAX: New Valet on the Block

Thursday, 30 August 2012 01:55 by Mandy

Fellow LAX travelers, I am here today to tell you about a great new parking option you can use from now on when flying out of LAX. The company is called LAX Parking Curb Express and is a valet service ONLY that offers indoor and outdoor parking options at competitively priced rates, but this isn’t your typical valet service we’re talking about here.

Book for LAX Parking Curb Express online with Airport Parking Connection to guarantee your spot.  When you pull up to their location off Sepulveda a member of the valet staff will hop in and drive you in your own car to your terminal while you fill out necessary paper work, once the valet has helped you unload your luggage at your terminals curbside the valet will give you your claim ticket (keep it handy because you’ll need it when you return) then drive your car back to the lot till you come back.

Helpful tips: make sure after you’ve loaded your luggage and passengers there is still space for one more passenger (the valet). You’ll also need your flight information such as flight number, departure/arrival times and airlines when booking your reservation with Parking Curb Express so they can plan accordingly for your departure/arrival. To get your car back when you return from your trip, call the number on your claim ticket (310) 410-9906 to let Parking Curb Express know you’ve arrived. It’s IMPORTANT to remember that when returning if you have to pick your luggage up from baggage claim then you should WAIT to call Parking Curb Express to pick you up till AFTER you’ve claimed all of your luggage, otherwise call them when you exit your plane; Parking Curb Express parks and waits with your car at your terminals curbside but can only wait a short period of time for you as a result of police restrictions. As if this process didn’t make simplify things enough, after you pick your car up curbside you can drive straight home because the valet has his own way of getting back to the parking lot.

LAX Parking Curb Express is open 24/7 and located only about a block from LAX at 9800 South Sepulveda Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90045. Just drive North on Sepulveda Blvd. past West Century Blvd. then make the first right onto 98th street and go half way down the block and it’ll be on your right hand side. Open for a little over a year now LAX Parking Curb Express has already been enthusiastically embraced by many LAX commuting regulars, just check out all the great reviews on their yelp page. LAX Parking Curb Express has added a new unique spin to your LAX traveling experience that is attracting a lot of attention very quickly so make sure you book in advance with Airport Parking Connection to ensure you have a spot waiting for you when you pull up to LAX Parking Curb Express next time.  

The Foxier LAX Parking Option

Thursday, 23 August 2012 02:24 by Mandy

Traveling out of LAX anytime soon? If so then be sure to give Fox Auto Parks a look when it comes to your parking needs. Open 24/7, Fox Auto Parks is located about a mile from LAX airport at 10121 Glasglow Place,Los Angeles, CA 90045but be sure to pay close attention to street signs because Glasglow Place is easy to miss from 104th street if you aren’t looking. Fox Auto Parks offers complimentary valet and shuttle services to and from your terminal when you park with them, just pull up and leave your car in the front while you check in with the attendant to get your reservation ticket (Which also has the shuttle services phone number (310)342-6445 on the back).

You should plan to get to Fox Auto Parks at least twenty minutes before you want to arrive at your terminal, and upon your return call the shuttle service to let them know you’ve arrived so you won’t have to wait long to be picked up; you can also wait under the purple sign that reads RENTAL CAR PICK-UP ONLY, this can only be found in arrivals. Aside from great service, Fox Auto Parks has some of the more competitive rates in the LAX area that definitely make it worth giving it a try next time you’re planning a trip citizens of Los Angeles!  Visit Airport Parking Connection online to reserve your Fox Auto Parks parking reservation for the best deal around town. 

Airline Baggage Fee Guide

Wednesday, 22 August 2012 02:49 by Mandy

Summer is the prime season for travel. Airlines ready themselves for the throng of travelers trying to check in and get to their gates on time. Unfortunately for us travelers, baggage restrictions and fees are putting a heavy damper on our vacation plans, so here is a guide to help you manage and avoid those pesky airline baggage fees.

1. Choose an airline that offers free checked luggage.

If you don’t want to pay baggage fees, you should fly with Southwest or JetBlue. The first checked bag with either of these carriers is free. Other carriers offer a free checked bag with only international flights. Choose an airline that works best for you. If you have more than one bag to check, choose an airline that spreads fees evenly between bags, as opposed to dumping a huge amount of fees on the second or third bags. Many budget carriers will charge higher baggage fees in lieu of reduced airfares.

2. Know the baggage fees.

It’s not particularly surprising that most travelers show up to the airport without knowing how much a checked bag will cost. That’s partly because there is no standard rule for baggage fees across all airlines. Make sure you spend that extra bit of time researching your airline’s baggage fees. You’ll have to do a little digging as most carriers don’t present that information on the home pages of their sites.

3. Understand carry-on limits.

In the heyday of air travel, when checked baggage was free, people used overhead compartments to store a purse, backpack, or small bag. Now, many travelers are shoving their primary travel bags into those spaces. It’s not exactly uncommon to see people almost come to blows over that overhead space. Like baggage fees, there is no standard size for carry-ons. Check your airline’s website for appropriate size limits to avoid being forced to check your carry-on at the gate.

4. Consider one-bag travel.

No airlines charge for a carry-on (at least, not yet). If you can limit what you pack down to one carry-on and one personal item, you can completely avoid baggage fees. You also won’t have to waste time checking your bag and picking it up from the carousel, and you won’t have to worry about your airline losing your bag. It’s also a lot easier to get through the airport and mass transit when you don’t have to lug a heavy suitcase around.

5. …but don’t overpack.

Even with one bag, you’ll probably be tempted to over pack, to fill that carry-on until the seams are about to burst. More airlines are imposing weight limits for carry-on bags. Not following those limits could lead to some hefty fees, or you may be forced to check your carry-on.

Buy a bag that won’t let you over pack, a bag that allows enough space for your essentials without going overboard. If you’re still having trouble, follow the old rule of thumb: lay out all that you plan to pack and leave half of it at home.

Over packing goes for checked bags as well. Bags that are overweight or oversized are subject to fees that might cost you more than your plane ticket. On United, for example, an overweight bag on an international flight will cost you $400 each way.

6. Pay for fees online.

If you’re already planning on checking your bags, make the arrangements before you reach the airport. Pay your fees through your airline’s website. You’ll save time by avoiding those long lines.

7. Ship your bags via mail.

Shipping a heavy package seems just as expensive as checking your bag, but this handy chart proves otherwise. Shipping your suitcase may actually be cheaper than paying the baggage fees, especially if you want to pack more than the airlines allow. However, this method takes a little planning and forethought. If your packages need to be stored at your hotel before your arrival, you will be charged a fee.

8. Be prepared for those fees.

Even with your best efforts, you’ll still be charged with baggage fees. Make sure you’ve set aside some money in your travel budget to take care of these fees. Accept it. You’re not alone when it comes to paying those fees. Whining or complaining will only keep you down. Don’t let those baggage fees ruin the entirety of your trip, and above all else; don't forget to plan ahead and reserve your airport parking online with Airport Parking Connection!